Sometimes relationships aren’t meant to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to end them. It’s always a fine line of communicating with kindness, while still making sure he knows exactly what parts of him kind of suck, hence you ending things. If you’re struggling with being honest but considerate, follow these tips below to let him down gently while still explaining everything about him he could stand to work on.
Mention the positives with the negatives.
When telling someone it’s not going to work out, it’s always nice to soften the blow with all the great things he has going for him. This way, everything he has going against him will be easier to swallow. Try the compliment sandwich method – mention he has a great smile before explaining in-depth about how terrible he is at listening, and then after, add in that he has an uncanny knack of ordering the perfect thing off the menu. He’ll still understand there’s qualities about him that he should reflect on, but he won’t feel too bad about it!
Take responsibility, but not all the responsibility.
The ol’ “It’s not you, it’s me” may be a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason. It lets the other person know it’s not going to work out and the blame isn’t completely on them. Of course, they should still know some of the blame is on them, so the trick is to talk about how you don’t react kindly to all their shitty personality traits. For example, “It’s not you, it’s me. I just hate the way you always interrupt me, and that’s something I need to work on. And maybe you should, too.”
Be brutally honest, but thoughtfully so.
How you say something is just as important as what you say. Pointing the finger and playing the blame game will get you nowhere, but if you communicate with compassion, even giving a laundry list of reasons why he sucks will come across as concerned feedback. Really, you’re telling him all of this because you want him to be better, and with the right tone, he’ll come out of the conversation feeling motivated and ready to work on himself, because he definitely needs to!
It’s always hard to tell someone you’re not interested in them and why, while still keeping their feelings in mind. But remember you’re doing this so the next person he dates will hopefully think he sucks less. With the right bedside manner, you can still be considerate, not that he really deserves it!